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Professor at Texas Woman's University, editor of LIBRARIANS' CHOICES, avid reader, movie lover, and zealous traveller
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26. NSTA article: Observe, Explain, Connect


As I bring this look at science and poetry to a close, I'm so please to announce that Janet (Wong) and I had an article about this topic published in the April/May issue of Science and Children, the journal of the National Science Teachers Association. It's entitled "Observe, Explain, Connect" and appears on pages 31-35. 

It's widely available (for free). For example, you should be able to read a digital version of this issue at the NSTA site here

Our article begins:

"In his article “Physics And Poetry: Can You Handle The Truth?” astrophysicist Adam Frank (2013) revealed, “Poems and poetry are, for me, a deep a form of knowing, just like science … each, in its way, is a way to understand the world.” Poets and scientists both seek to observe, explain, and understand the world around them. Poetry’s brevity, conceptual focus, and rich vocabulary make it a natural teaching tool for connecting with science, particularly in celebrating National Poetry Month each April and “Poem in Your Pocket” day, April 24, 2014 (see Internet Resources). Akerson (2002) reminds us: the “processes of science and literacy learning are similar and may help the development of each discipline.” She goes on to observe: “using an interdisciplinary strategy can help meet state and national science objectives in a way that supports language arts” (p. 22)."

and ends:

The more connections we can provide between what children are learning in science and what literacy skills they need to be successful, the deeper their learning of both will be. If poetry can be that vehicle for connecting skills, concepts, and information across the science curriculum, we owe it to children to infuse poetry wherever we can. In sharing science-focused poetry, we can encourage children to think like a poet AND a scientist carefully observing the world around them using all their senses, maintaining an avid curiosity about how things work, and gathering “big words” and key vocabulary in their reading and their writing. As Albert Einstein reminds us, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

It's been so interesting to dig into this interdisciplinary intersection of science and poetry. The 78 poets who contributed to The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science really stepped up to create poems that captured an array of science topics. And as we dug deep into the "Next Generation Science Standards," we examined quite a range of science skills in various sub-disciplines of science. Matching poems to topics and then creating "Take 5" mini-lessons really stretched our science knowledge. THEN, to have our work validated by the National Science Teachers Association-- that was the icing on the cake! 

We hope this helps science teachers consider the power of poetry as they plan rich science lessons. And we hope reading and language arts teachers will feel more comfortable talking about science topics as they introduce these poems. It's win-win all around! 





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27. Poet Laureate "Pick" and "Poetry Minute"


I am so pleased to announce that my latest collaboration with Janet Wong (and 77 other poets), The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, has been selected as the Children's Poet Laureate Monthly Book Pick for April 2014. The Children's Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, highlights a different book of poetry each month. You'll find this and all his monthly "picks" at the Poetry Foundation website here.


Kenn has also initiated the Poetry Minute website, featuring a poem-a-day for sharing with children. This includes the full text of a different poem every day, along with information about the poet and her/his work. There'a a lovely variety of poems and poets piling up there! 

Check it out!


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28. PFAS: “Hurricane Hideout” by Janet Wong


This is the last of my student-created poem movies for poetry from The Poetry Friday Anthology for ScienceKate L. uses weather news images and hurricane sound effects to make Janet Wong’s poem “Hurricane Hideout” really come to life.

Watch it here.

You’ll find this poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 18: Forces of Nature.


Thank you to each of my students for their creative work in using technology to showcase a poem. Thank you to the poets who allowed us to use their poems for our projects. And thank you, readers, for your comments and responses. We've had fun with this project and hope you'll try something similar with the students you work with. It's something kids can try with their favorite poems, too. 

For the last few days of April, I'll be highlighting a few other poetry-plus-science nuggets, just to round out the month. Wishing you all a Happy Poetry Month! 

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29. PFAS: “Welcome to the Science Lab” by Heidi Bee Roemer

Sylvia D. highlights “Welcome to the Science Lab” by Heidi Bee Roemer in her simple poem movie slideshow below. She even incorporates factual information alongside the poem text.




You’ll find this poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 2: Lab Safety.


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30. PFAS: “Moving for Five Minutes Straight” by Betsy Franco

Leslie W. incorporates videoclips of kids exercising in perfect correspondence with the poem’s lines for her movie version of “Moving for Five Minutes Straight” by Betsy Franco.

Watch it here.

You’ll find this energetic poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 25: The Human Body.



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31. PFAS: “Water Round” by Leslie Bulion


Jeni T. has created an amazing poem movie for Leslie Bulion’s poem, “Water Round.” She weaves together images of water in its many forms along with subtle background music and water noises to great effect.

Check it out here.


You’ll find this poem in the 2nd grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 16: The Water Cycle.


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32. PFAS: “Testing My Hypothesis” by Leslie Bulion

Melissa P. uses images of kids and cats and blankets along with appealing background music to act out the story within the poem, “Testing My Hypothesis” by Leslie Bulion. 

Click here to watch it now.


You’ll find this fun poem in the 3rd grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 5: Predictions & Hypotheses.


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33. PFAS: “Climate vs. Weather” by Joan Bransfield Graham

Lauren S. has gotten children involved in reading aloud the poem for her movie adaptation of Joan Bransfield Graham’s poem, “Climate vs. Weather.”

Look for it here.


You’ll find this interesting poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 17: Weather & Climate.


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34. PFAS: “Teacher’s Look” by Shirley Smith Duke

Cara S. uses images of hands and pens and a frowning teacher along with fun background sound effects to tell the story behind Shirley Smith Duke’s poem, “Teacher’s Look.”

Check it out here (below).


You’ll find this engaging poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 13: Light & Sound.


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35. PFAS: “Dinos in the Laboratory” by Kristy Dempsey

Sarah S. uses story-like LEGO images and fun dino “roar” sound effects to dramatize Kristy Dempsey’s clever poem, “Dinos in the Laboratory.” 

Check it out here.


You’ll find this clever poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 2: Lab Safety.


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36. PFAS: “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios

Emma R. has created the next poem movie, complete with kids chiming in on the final word. Plus she includes kid comments and another reading of the poem along with the text of the poem. 

Click here to see Emma's video for “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios.


Look for this poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 31: Famous Scientists.

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37. PFAS: “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs


Watch for the ending image of the smiling girl with glasses in this fun poem movie created by Shelly P. for “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs.

Click here now.


You’ll find this poem in Week 25 in the 1st Grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.


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38. PFAS: “Let’s All Be Scientists” by Renee M. LaTulippe

Today Melinda L. features “Let’s All Be Scientists” by Renee M. LaTulippe. I think she really captures the spirit of the poem with her nature images and jaunty background music. Plus she includes a second reading by children, too! Check it out.

Click here.



You’ll find this poem in 2nd grade, Week 1 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science


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39. PFAS: “Sound Waves at Breakfast” by Susan Marie Swanson


Today Nancy D. features “Sound Waves” by Susan Marie Swanson. I think she really captures the spirit of the poem with her great sound effects and kids chiming in on key words. Check it out.

Click here to watch and listen.


You’ll find this poem in 2nd grade, Week 13 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science


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40. PFAS: “Food for Thought” by Robyn Hood Black

Vanessa D. features “Food for Thought” by Robyn Hood Black in her poem movie project. But don’t watch this if you’re hungry—there are heaps of food pictures!

Watch the video now by clicking here.


You’ll find this poem in 4th grade, Week 26 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science




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41. PFAS: “This Week’s Weather” by Janet Wong

Tammy G. chose "This Week's Weather" by Janet Wong for her poem movie creation and even included a weather reporter!

Watch her movie by clicking here.




Check out The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Third Grade, Week 17.

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42. PFAS: "Discovery/Descubrimiento" by Margarita Engle

I am so pleased that several bilingual poems (in Spanish and English) are featured in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. And I was so gratified that Patrina G chose one of those bilingual poems for her poetry movie project,"Discovery/Descumbrimiento" by Margarita Engle. Plus, she even offers a reading of the poem in both English and Spanish in her video.


Watch it by clicking here. 



Look for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Second Grade, Week 4.

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43. PFAS: “Superhero Scientist” by Joan Bransfield Graham

Danielle D uses techno-music and fun images of science lab equipment to animate Joan Bransfield Graham's poem, "Superhero Scientist." 

Click here to watch this poem video.



Look in Kindergarten, Week 2 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for the "Take 5" activities that accompany this poem.

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44. PFAS: “Thirsty Measures” by Heidi Bee Roemer

Ready for another poem movie moment?

Kelly M. does a wonderful job with "Thirsty Measures" by Heidi Bee Roemer.  Watch for the hilarious surprise ending!

Click here. 



You'll find this poem in Fifth Grade, Week 26 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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45. PFAS: “Step Outside What Do You See” by Allan Wolf

Pamela B. uses nature photographs and images of children to convey the questions in Allan Wolf's poem, "Step Outside, What Do You See."


Click here.




You'll find this poem in Kindergarten, Week 4 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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46. PFAS: “Scientific Inquiry” by Susan Blackaby

Check out Sherry D's extremely clever film for Susan Blackaby's poem, "Scientific Inquiry." She uses hilarious homemade Einstein and Marie Curie puppet-like characters to communicate the essential ideas in the poem. (And you gotta love her ending slide with her "Give Sherry an A" production credit.)

Click here.




You'll find this wonderful poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Fifth grade, Week 1.

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47. PFAS: “Old Water” by April Halprin Wayland

Check out all these fun images of animals playing in water, as Chris A visualizes April Halprin Wayland's poem, "Old Water."


To watch the movie, click here. 




Look for this poem in Kindergarten, Week 16 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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48. PFAS: “Meter Stick” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

This poem, "Meter Stick" by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, makes learning metric measurement so much fun-- especially in Irene K's clever poem movie. 


Click here to watch it now. 



Look for this poem in Second Grade, Week 8 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

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49. PFAS: “Cicada” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Ashley A uses minimalist imagery and cicada sound effects to dramatize "Cicada" by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Click here to watch Ashley's movie interpretation of the poem.



This poem is also available in both English and Spanish-- an extra bonus.


You'll find this gem in Fifth Grade, Week 23 of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

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50. PFAS: “Playground Physics” by Jeannine Atkins

Crystal A uses real children in videos of playground scenes in her poem movie for "Playground Physics" by Jeannine Atkins.


Click here to watch it now.



Look for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Fifth grade, Week 4.

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